John Muir National Historic Site was established in 1964 to memorialize the man who is considered the father of the National Park Service. John Muir, through his writings and the book Our National Parks as well as personnel connections with national leaders, successfully galvanized forces to protect our nation’s wild lands and parks. He was one of the founders of the Sierra Club and was appointed the club’s president for life.
At the site in Martinez, California, the public can visit the 1882 Italianate Victorian that was John Muir’s home for the last 24 years of his life. Within this house is the “scribble den” where Muir wrote his books and articles about the natural world. The site sits on 9 acres of the original 2,600 acre orchard. Included on the site is the Martinez Adobe. The adobe was constructed in 1849 for Vicente Martinez during the period when California was a Mexican Territory.
The site consists of an additional three separate parcels of land within an approximately one-mile radius. Mount Wanda, a 326 acre grass and oak woodland is open to hikers and horseback. The land was named by John Muir for his oldest daughter Wanda. Strain Ranch consists of 186 acres and sits at the foot of Mount Wanda. The one-acre Strentzel – Muir family gravesite is the final resting place for John Muir, his wife, daughter, and in-laws.
The Museum and Archives Collections
John Muir National Historic Site has one of the world’s largest museum collections of artifacts, archives, and natural history specimens related to John Muir. The collection is critical in providing a tangible link to Muir’s life and work through educational programs, research opportunities, and through both virtual and onsite/offsite exhibition. The park plays a role in increasing the understanding of Muir’s significance and perpetuating his legacy through cooperation with institutions containing related collections and others vested in John Muir’s legacy.